SUNRISE — Just when everybody thought the action was done, the Devils and Ducks pulled off a trade.
At the tail end of Friday’s 2015 NHL Entry Draft, New Jersey acquired Anaheim forward Kyle Palmieri for the 41st overall pick this year, and a selection at the 2016 draft.
Palmieri, 24, is a former first-round pick that’s coming off a year in which he tied a career-high for goals (14) and finished with 29 points. The former U.S. National Team Development Program product also scored four points in 16 playoff games for the Ducks, averaging over 14 minutes a night.
For New Jersey, the move makes sense as the team looks to get younger, faster and more skilled. It’s also the first trade orchestrated by new GM Ray Shero, and he got an affordable producer as Palmieri’s in the last of a three-year deal that pays just $1.46M annually.
For the Ducks, they have a slew of talented young forwards on the horizon, and this move could clear another roster spot up front. It’s also unlikely that UFA winger Matt Beleskey will be back, so Anaheim should have an open competition for minutes next season.